The Importance of Critically Thinking Freely

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The Importance of Critically Thinking Freely The process of writing is different for everyone. Some people use outlines to clearly organize their thoughts and others just start writing and go wherever that takes them. Peter Elbow teaches how to relate these two writing styles by using first-order thinking and second-order thinking. For a piece to be interesting and well thought out, I believe that both styles should be incorporated. First-order thinking is creative and free. This order of thinking is not critical; it is experimental and allows us to find an answer almost randomly. Elbow believes that this way of thinking leads a writer to lose control and come to a conclusion freely. Elbow stresses “freewriting” as an effective prewriting tool. By letting our mind work through a question liberally, more interesting points will often emerge. The disadvantage of relying on this process is that it can be harder to make a clear, concise point. In order for this process to lead to a strong, cohesive idea, the many examples that emerge from free thinking should be examined closely. Second-order thinking is a more critical and controlled way to approach a question. Elbow says that in writing, this order of thinking should be used to check the ideas that come from first-order thinking. He says that first-order thinking leads to randomly ordered thoughts. Without examining the ideas that formulate through the “freewriting” process, we are left with a bunch of random thoughts that are not always connected. On the other hand, without first-order thinking there may not be many ideas to examine. Elbow also teaches how these two writing processes enhance first and second-order thinking. The first steps in the “freewriting” process teach us to use our intuition. Elbow favors the importance of learning to think creatively and this thinking process is strengthened by
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